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Volume 6 No. 212


The "perilous state" of the finances of some of Spain's professional football clubs was highlighted Wednesday with the revelation that La Liga side Deportivo la Coruna has debts totaling €156.3M ($201M), of which €93.7 ($120.7M) are owed to the Spanish Treasury, according to XINHUA. The figure was published by the company AD Cryex, which is currently managing Deportivo's financial affairs after the club "recently went into voluntary administration" on Jan. 10. Deportivo, currently bottom of La Liga with just 20 points from 28 games, had announced debts of around €93M ($120M) on the day it went into administration. However, the club appears to have "greatly underestimated its tax debt, originally publishing debts of less than half of which the new report says it now owes." The report said, "The real causes of the insolvency are the fact that they maintained a form of management which was far removed from reality, increasing expenses and investments in multiple aspects and in quantities which are absolutely removed from the economic possibilities of the society" (XINHUA, 3/20).

The Dubai-based owner of League Championship club Leeds United said that it is "seeking new investors," but denied that it "plans to sell up completely three months after buying the team," according to de Sa'Pinto & Weir of REUTERS. A statement from owner GFH Capital issued by Leeds on Wednesday "tried to reassure fans that the owners remained committed" to Leeds after buying out majority shareholder Ken Bates only in December. However, the statement "will not quell uncertainty about the future of the former English champions as it conflicts with comments made by its Bahrain-based parent Gulf Finance House." Two sources close to the matter said that GFH "had all but completed a sale of the club, with just one or two legal issues left to resolve." The new consortium seeking to buy Leeds is led by U.K.-based businessman Steve Parkin, who "made his money in road haulage." Parkin attempted to buy the club in '04, prior to it being snapped up by former Chelsea owner Bates (REUTERS, 3/20).

La Liga Malaga Dir General Vicente Casado revealed he is confident the club's appeal against a UEFA ban from future continental competition over delays in payments to creditors "will be successful," according to Iain Rogers of REUTERS. UEFA said in its ruling published in December that Qatar-owned Malaga had been sanctioned "due to the presence of significant overdue payables balances." Malaga appealed the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and Casado said that the hearing "would likely take place on May 14 with a decision expected sometime in June" (REUTERS, 3/20).